As promised, today I’m sharing Part Two of my Holiday Gift Guide! Hopefully you read Part One which I posted last Friday. As I mentioned in that post, my holiday gift guide is so extensive I decided to split it into two parts. Friday, I released the Men, Women, and Teens sections and today, I’m concentrating on personality types. So whether you have a fashionista sister, homebody mother, or a foodie friend, I’ve got the right gift for you!
Homemaking. Not a term you hear much anymore, is it? But it’s something most of us do every day.
Something I have shared here before is how important I think the art of homemaking is. When I cook, or clean, or even decorate, I don’t do it to make my house more beautiful to the outside eye, I do it so that my family has a comfortable place to call home.
I love homemade ice cream. Ever since I got an ice cream machine about 8 years ago or so, I have been a convert. There is truly nothing like it. It is so different than anything you can buy in a store, and with an ice cream machine, it’s very easy. A lot of the recipes I make use a custard base which involves heating milk and eggs to a certain temperature and then cooling everything down in an ice bath, followed by refrigerating. And though this isn’t hard, it is time consuming and definitely makes for a bit of a mess to clean up. However, this ice cream recipe has no cooking, no worrying about heating the eggs too much and scrambling them (I’ve definitely done this), no waiting for it to cool down so you can put it in the machine, and way less clean up! It tastes like heaven, if heaven were strawberries and cream. I’m sure you are saying to yourself “Well of course it tastes like strawberries and cream, it’s strawberry ice cream!” But really, when you buy strawberry ice cream, it never tastes anything like a real strawberry. And even worse, it usually has fake flavoring and red dye. So, yes, when I made this for the first time, I was surprised. I kept saying over and over “it really tastes like strawberries and cream”! It is so delicious, I dare you to stop eating it. And with strawberries at the height of their season, there is no excuse not to make it this weekend. Today even! Make it! You will thank me, I promise.
Creamed peas. If you are envisioning over-cooked, mushy peas laying in a puddle of cream like something in an Old English pub, then you are not familiar with this version. This recipe involves fresh, spring peas and it is delicious. I have been wanting to make fresh peas for awhile now, so the other day when there were fresh, English peas for sale at Trader Joe’s, I snapped them up. Now, I must admit, I love peas. Not the aforementioned over-cooked version, but even frozen peas with a little butter and salt, slightly undercooked so they still pop, is something I make often. So the thought of fresh! English! peas was so exciting for me, I can’t even tell you. And though I could have served them simply with just butter and salt, I wanted to do something a little more. I ended up kind of combining two recipes that I found on Epicurious and changing them around to make one that was more what I was going for. Can I just say? This recipe was life-changing for me! The fresh peas had a distinctly sweeter profile than even the highest quality frozen, and combined with the onions, it was scrumptious (yes, I just said “scrumptious” to describe a vegetable). I loved them so much I made them again a few days later and used frozen, just to see how much difference there would be. And though it was still delicious, there is something very special about the sweeter, more distinct taste of the fresh. I urge you to go and get some fresh peas while they are still around (it’s a very short season).